The flour mill that preceded the Penitentiary was partially powered by a huge water wheel with a diameter of 10m(30ft). Getting water to the mill turned out to be a complicated feat of engineering comprising a series of dams, millrace, underground aqueduct and overhead water race. Despite the ingenuity of the convict water supply, the mill was never a great success.
The Convict Water Supply Trail takes you beyond the manicured lawns into the surrounding bushland to tell the story of an ambitious engineering project that aimed to make the convict settlement self-sufficient in the production of flour.
Along the trail you’ll discover the remains of convict-built reservoirs, aqueducts, mills and water wheels, offering a glimpse of the dreams and disappointments of this grand venture.
The trail also documents the growth of a free community from the ruins of the penal system and explores the environmental impact of white settlement, the regenerative power of Tasmania’s endemic flora and the changing attitudes over the last 200 years to the Australian landscape.
The Convict Water Supply Trail begins behind the Hospital and finishes at the Commandant’s House.
Allow 30 minutes.